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Briefing: Are you happy at work? That sounds like a really silly question for a law enforcement officer. We can be very serious people.

Dispatch (Assignment): Set yourself an alarm for a random time during your shift. When it goes off take an honest assessment of your attitude. Do this several days and document your joy level. This sounds silly too, but trust me, you may be surprised at your results.

On the Street: Why joy at work? It is a picture of your living witness, as opposed to the witness that comes out of your mouth. You have a living testimony and people do watch you. The Bible says to be ready to give an answer whenever anyone asks you about the reason for the joy in your life. If you are not joyful no one is ever going to ask you.

Jesus is the reason for our joy. Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before Him. Jesus was able to look through the pain of the cross and see what was waiting for Him on the other side. That joy was being back in the presence of His Father.

Think about having joy at your job. I bet you had joy when you first started. If you were like me, I could not wait to get to work and put some “bad guys” in jail. I have been on the job for 20+ years and still get joy from the work. If you have grown to hate the job, do a gut check. Maybe it is not the job that is making you miserable. If it is, don’t spend your life being miserable. When I talk to officers who say they hate their job, it is usually not the job. Most of the time, other issues are stealing their joy but they blame it on the job. Either way, being joyful is a Biblical principle. Find a way to feel joyful. I’ll give you a hint, it is found in A RIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST.

I have often heard people say, “I don’t feel joyful and happy and I’m not going to fake it or put on an act for other people.” You can look at it that way or you can look at it the way my high school football coach. It went something like this, “You play like you practice, if you suck at practice, you will suck in the game. If you take practice serious and put in the work, it will show in your performance during the game.”

If you want to be a happy/joyful person start practicing. Researchers have said in order to make a habit you must practice it for at least 21 days.

Proverbs 10:28 (NKJV), “The hope of the righteous will be gladness, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.”

Proverbs 15:13 (NKJV), “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.”

Proverbs 15:15 (NKJV), “All the days of the afflicted are evil, but he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.”

Proverbs 15:17 (NKJV), “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred.”

Proverbs 15:21 (NIV), “Folly brings joy to one who has no sense, but whoever has understanding keeps a straight course.”

Proverbs 15:23 (HCSB), “A man takes joy in giving an answer; and a timely word, how good that is!”

Proverbs 15:30 (HCSB), “Bright eyes cheer the heart; good news strengthens the bones.”

Proverbs 17:21 (NKJV), “He who begets a scoffer does so to his sorrow, and the father of a fool has no joy.”

Proverbs 19:11 (NIV), “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.”

Investigational Resources: James 1:2-4, Hebrews 12:2, 1 Peter 3:15

Officer Safety Principle: Practice being joyful long enough and it will become a habit. Make joy a habit and you may begin reflecting the glory of God. Reflect the glory of God and you will fulfill your purpose for being on this earth.

from The Book of Proverbs Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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